Reach Out To Those In Your Life Who Have Made A Difference….

Give The Gift Of Love This Christmas!

Give The Gift Of Love This Christmas!

Family and friends are such an important part of our lives. Make time this Holiday Season to let them know you are thinking about them. Imagine just for one minute what your life would be like without the people you care about and who care about you….Not a very comforting thought is it. Now, think about all the things you appreciate about each person and what they bring into your life… Feel your heart fill with love for each person who has touched your life. It truly is a wonderful feeling.

Now think about ways you can tell each person how much you care and have appreciated them being a part of your life. You could send them an email, just a short message telling them how grateful you are to have them in your life. Christmas cards and letters (almost a thing of the past) are wonderful to receive especially for someone who does not receive mail other than bills. Have your child/children make some handmade cards and send them to all their grandparents, aunts and uncles. Who wouldn’t love receiving a card someone actually took the time to make for them? If you enjoy baking you could bake some special treats and deliver them to your friends who maybe don’t have time or can’t bake anymore (a busy mom, sick friend or elderly family member would love a visit bringing treats). A phone call to someone you haven’t seen or spoken to in a long time to let them know you are thinking about them is a great way to let them know you care. Just hearing the voice of an old friend or lost relative can brighten someone’s day.

Life is so precious and can change so suddenly never put off till tomorrow what you can do in this present moment. Tell people you care about you love them, they can never hear it enough. Call the friend or family member you haven’t spoken to all year and let them know you are thinking about them. Every effort you make will create a warm feeling in your heart because when we share love it grows and grows and everyone including yourself will feel its glow. And that my friends is the True Spirit of Christmas no matter what time of year it is. So to all my family and friends out there I love you, I truly appreciate every moment we have shared and all the lessons we have learned from each other!♥

Time

Time...Is There Ever Enough?

Time…Is There Ever Enough?

  Time

Like a jet, it speeds
Rushing, running, nothing more
Blink a new day dawns

Wow! Summer is almost half over and I am still waiting for it to start! It’s time to stop doing and make time to just be. To quit running around and stop to enjoy the gardens and nature around me before they are finished blooming. To meditate more and live in the moment instead of on a rollercoaster; To still time and be present with me… Ahhhh can you feel it time just slowed down. Breathe….in 2,3,4 out 2,3,4 and again. I think I have just come back to my present moment. Of course this can only be accomplished late at night after all the kids have gone to bed or first thing in the morning before they get up. Find your present moment this summer and pause to enjoy it! Good luck everyone.

Do’s and Don’ts Of Raising Children

As Parents We Are Learning All The Time. There Is No Right Or Wrong Only Different Ways To Try Something.

As Parents We Are Learning All The Time. There Is No Right Or Wrong Only Different Ways To Try Something.

My children are growing up so fast. I was reflecting today on some of the moments we have shared and lessons I have learned over the years. Some are total common sense others are moments where I probably should have been paying a bit more attention and somethings one can only learn through experience……

Don’t assume a fussy baby is always hungry. They may just have a tummy ache and you can make it worse by overfeeding them. Then they will cry all night long.

Don’t be afraid to admit to your child when you are wrong. It is good for children to see and hear their parents are not perfect.

Don’t think you can go on long car rides with a young child susceptible to carsickness without “Gravol” or a bucket. You will be cleaning up Puke Messes every time.

Don’t treat or speak to your child in any way you would not want to be treated or spoken to yourself. Just because they are Little does not mean they deserve less respect.

Don’t let your 18 month old child go to the top of the highest slide in the park without someone standing behind her. She may fall all the way down to the bottom of the ladder because she all of a sudden changed her mind as you were waiting at the bottom to catch her.

Don’t let your baby eat the sand on the beach. They will survive but sand is dirty and they will have a gritty bottom for days afterwards.

Don’t let your teenage child play with tin cans full of sand at the beach. They will probably get a sliced finger and need medical attention.

Don’t tie two boats together with you and your young children and go floating down a river. Even though the children have lifejackets on, rivers have many sweepers and can be unpredictable. You never know what might happen.

Don’t take your children with you in the car to pick up large furniture. You may have nowhere for them to sit on the way home and be stranded at the store.

Don’t think you can discipline two children in the same way. Nothing is that simple they have different personalities.

Don’t make promises to your child you can not keep. They will lose faith in you and feel it is ok for them to break their promises to you.

Don’t be afraid to do a service for your child if you have been too harsh with them or said something to make them feel bad unintentionally. It teaches them we all make mistakes and we can all do something to make it better.

Do…

Give services as consequence when your child has misbehaved or hurt someone. It allows them to make up for a wrong doing and feel better about themselves.

Take your child to the see a show or a play in the Theatre once in a while. It teaches them to appreciate culture other than TV and video games.

Make sure your children get to spend time with their grandparents. They are important people with a world of knowledge and love to share.

Tuck your child in every night when they are young and lay with them for a few minutes. It is amazing what is shared with you about their day in the quiet moments before sleep.

Make up bedtime stories to share with your child. They will love listening to them and you can add lessons into the story to help your child learn more about life.

Have your child help out around the house. It teaches them skills they will need later in life, builds confidence and helps them to feel they are a useful member of the family.

Take your child camping and out in nature. It teaches them to enjoy and appreciate the beauty around them.

Pick up any garbage you see in nature. Your child will learn to take care of their environment through watching you.

Make time to have tea parties after school with your children once in a while. They will love the treat and it gives you a moment to connect with them on their day.

Always make the effort to eat dinner as a family. It is a time to connect with each other and is great family bonding time.

Stick up for your young child and others and help them work out their fights. A child cannot learn how to work through or avoid an argument unless they are shown the skills to do so.

Take naps with your babies and young children. They are some of the best cuddle moments you will ever have with them.

Get involved with your child’s school even if it is in small ways. It’s not only shows you care but you will know much more about what goes on in their day from the people you meet at the school.

Take time to play and be goofy with your child. They will treasure those moments the most.

Tell your children you love them every day. They need to hear it from you many times to believe it.

Forgive your child for what they do or say when they are angry. They don’t mean it. Anger is a very difficult emotion to control and it is good to remember they are still learning as are we.

Be gentle with yourself and your child. Remember every moment is a teachable moment. You may both learn from each experience and do things differently the next time. We are all doing the best we can with what we know in this moment, next time we will know a little more.

Take Your Children To The Garden!

Nothing Like A Beautiful Garden To Bring Joy Into Your Day!

Nothing Like A Beautiful Garden To Bring Joy Into Your Day!

Summer gardens are so beautiful and they have amazing energy. They are alive with bug adventures and blooming flowers. Ever felt a little down and then wandered into a garden with all the flowers blooming, butterflies dancing, and a cool breeze to sweep away any sad feelings. It is hard to have any emotion other than joy when you are in a pretty garden. One time I was walking down the street and came up to a flower store with a beautiful display of fresh cut bouquets. Just standing in front of the display lifted my spirits.

When my children were little and fussing I would sometimes pick them up and take them outside. We would walk around checking out the flowers and trees in our yard and area. They would stop crying and look around calming down almost instantly. Children live so in the moment they can shift moods very quickly. They would totally forget about what was bothering them and move into enjoying the nature around them. Nature is a great mood booster.

It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment, townhouse or house there are gardens everywhere in every city. Take a walk around the block to enjoy the neighbour’s gardens or go visit local parks & gardens in your area as much as possible. It is always a relaxing outing and everyone will feel energized and happier afterwards.

What a Father Teaches…

Kids with their Father

Today We Appreciate Our Dad!

In appreciation of Father’s Day today we sat down as a family and talked about what each of us learned from our Fathers. Here is a list what transpired….

Thank You Dad For…..

My gender chromosomes’
Teaching me how to throw a ball
To play baseball
Ride a bike
Fix my bike
To kayak
To fish
Shoot a bow and arrow
Race a go-cart
How a computer works
To build furniture and wood working
How to snowboard
To use words instead of fists when I’m angry
To stick with something until I’ve mastered it
To tell the truth except when keeping a secret from mom
An appreciation for music
How to survive the mosh pit at a concert
Smoking is stinky
Why I shouldn’t smoke
How to Belch words at the dinner table
How to pee in a bush
Leave my stinky socks on the living room floor or couch
To love the outdoors
My love for chocolate
To love camping and hiking

So, as I was writing down all of the fine things that my family thought their dad had taught them, I started thinking about what moms teach and it’s not nearly as exotic. Here is the Mom’s list

Things My Mother Taught Me…

To behave
To use my manners
Right from wrong
Practice makes Progress
When enough is enough
When to be quiet so mom can nap
Thursdays is always chore day
To clean a toilets
Wash the floors
Empty the dishwasher
Set the table
Wash and dry dishes
Make my bed
Clean my room
To do my laundry
To Always tell the truth
Burping words at the table is Not polite
Peeing in a bush is only a last resort
Stinky socks in the living room is Not OK
To increase the clutter while trying to decrease it
To get organized
To be a friend
Talk on the phone
Respect my siblings and others
Patience

Hmmmmm, it is quite the list, not nearly as exciting. I wonder why the Dads get all the fun jobs and the moms get all the work? Maybe we could trade a few just to switch it up a bit? 🙂 I guess in the long run it all goes together to create a wonderful loving family and isn’t that what being a parent is all about? Happy Fathers Day to all you Awesome Dads out there! I hope your day was the best!

Teach Your Children The Game Of Gratitude….

The Game Of Gratitude...It Can Change Our Life!

The Game Of Gratitude…It Can Change Our Life!

Ever wonder why things happen over and over in our lives. Good or bad if we focus on something and think about it all the time we will bring more of it into our lives. When I was younger and had just received my driver’s license I had a minor accident in my car. The memory of the accident created fear in me and I became over cautious. I would constantly be focused on close calls when driving, watching for them, hoping they wouldn’t happen. Well guess what, I got into another minor accident and it wasn’t even my fault. After three accidents I started thinking, maybe my fearful thoughts and focus on people hitting me was the problem. I changed my focus and every time I got into my car I would say, “Thank you for seeing me safely to my destination”. Sometimes if the fearful thoughts persisted I would chant the phrase in my head until I reached my destination. Each time I said the Gratitude phrase I could feel my energy change from one of caution and fear to one of peace and safety knowing I would arrive to my destination safely. I have never been in another accident and the Game of Gratitude was born.

I tried using the Game of Gratitude in other areas of my life too like parking spots. Whenever I am driving somewhere I say to myself, “Thank you for the perfect parking spot.” It works every time! The only time I have had to look for parking is when I forget to ask and be grateful for having it.

Whether we are expecting something good or bad the universe will make it happen! When my children were little I would play the Game of Gratitude with them. At dinner time we would go around the table and each person would share something good about their day. When my kids complained about something during the day I would ask them to come up with five positive things to say about it. If they were complaining about each other then each child would have to come up with five positive things about the other and share it with them. It taught my children to stop looking for the negative in people and situations and find the positive. Even if it was difficult in the beginning they got better at it and it became easier.

If they were being picked on in school, we would discuss different strategies they could use to deal with it. Then say a Gratitude Phrase morning and night, as well as whenever they thought about being hurt, “Thank you for keeping me safe at school!” and “Thank you for my fun, respectful friends.” The problem would usually go away after a couple of days because they no longer felt like a victim and were focused on having good relationships in their life. Very seldom would we have to take the next step of going in and talking to the school about the issue.

I taught my children to play the Game of Gratitude in all areas of their life. When they went to bed we would talk about things they were grateful for in their lives and list them off. We would discuss one thing they wanted to change in their day and come up with a Gratitude Phrase they could use to help make a difference for the next day. If there was a moment in their day where they were really struggling with I would have them close their eyes and visualize how they would have wanted the moment to go and to see themselves succeeding. The Game of Gratitude gave a positive focus to the end of their day and helped them settle into their nights rest.

We all worry about little things once in a while. The Game of Gratitude helps us put our worries aside and focus only on what we want in our lives. We can change our thoughts and create a happier life for our whole family!

To help you get started here are some of the Gratitude phrases my family has used in our lives…

Kids:

Thank you for seeing me safely to school.
Thank you for the excellent mark on my Science Test.
Thank you for my wonderful respectful friends.
Thank you for helping me ride my bike.
Thank you for my wonderful parents.
Thank you for my nice teacher.
Thank you for helping me hit the ball each time I bat.
Thank you for a better relationship with my brother.
Thank you for helping me to improve my dance routine. (or any other activity)
Thank you for seeing mommy/daddy safely home from work.

Parents:

Thank you for seeing child’s name safely home.
Thank you for seeing me safely to my destination.
Thank you for the abundance in my life.
Thank you for keeping my family safe.
Thank you for my perfect job.
Thank you for the harmony in my home.
Thank you for the perfect teacher for my child.
Thank you for guiding me to whatever you are looking for.
Thank you for my perfect health.

There are many more Gratitude Phrases out there if you have some you would like to share please feel free to leave a comment. It would be great to have a list for every situation!

Looking for a great book on Gratitude? Check out The Secret by Rhonda Byrne or check out the website Moments A Day for some Simple Gratitude games you can play with your kids!

Children Are Our Energy Sponges…

Kids Are So Innocent, What We Feel They Will Feel!

Kids Are So Innocent, Emotions We Feel, They Will Feel!

Ever wonder why when you are having a bad day your child/children seem to do everything they can to make it worse! I used to wonder if my kids acted up on purpose just to make my day go down hill. Then I started to pay attention to when they were misbehaving and how I was feeling at that moment. I noticed that when I was feeling angry or impatient about something my children behaved in the same way I felt. If I woke up in a bad mood, I would usually have a bad morning with my kids. When I was relaxed and happy my children were happier and didn’t act out or fight either. Maybe it wasn’t my children making my bad day worse at all. Maybe it was my own frustrated energy rubbing off on my children and making their day awful.

People are so in tune to energy that sometimes we pick up other peoples energy and then all of a sudden we feel different ourselves. We maybe having a totally great day then walk by someone who is feeling anxious or fearful and all of a sudden our mood changes and we are not even sure where it came from. Think about it, have you ever walked into a room and knew people had been arguing before you entered. I have and I could feel the tension in the room like it was solid matter. It can go the other way too like being around someone who is infectiously happy and everyone around them is happy too? We feel their energy and share it without even knowing we are doing it.

Once I started observing my energy changes I became more aware of my children’s. Children are so in tune with their environment they are like energy sponges. They feel our feelings coming from us and because they don’t know the difference they believe it is their own feelings. Our frustration makes them feel frustrated our joy makes them feel joyful. Over time I noticed that when I was having a good day my whole family had a good day. My kids hardly fought and everyone was much happier. Then too, when I had a bad day my frustration seemed to drag everyone’s energy down and my whole family was cranky. In being aware of my energy I was able to catch myself when I was feeling irritable and do something about it. Sometimes I would go for a walk with the kids outside to the park or if we were having a really bad day we would all do some down time together and meditate or rest. Everyone always felt better after a good nap.

So next time you’re having a bad day, try being aware of where your energy is at and do something to shift it into a more peaceful, happier place. If we take note of how we are feeling when our kids are misbehaving or cranky we can try doing something to help everyone feel better. Taking some quiet time to meditate, reading funny stories or having a family nap will help. Going outside for a walk in the forest or to a park in your neighbourhood will help because we pick up the good energy from the nature around us. Even sitting down and watching a funny show together can change the energy of the day to be happier and more joyful. One person’s awareness can make all of the difference in the world to the outcome of  your day.

Teach Your Child To Be Themselves!

Be Yourself! Following The Crowd Never Makes You Happy!

Be Yourself! Following The Crowd Never Makes You Happy!

Every child wonders to themselves Who Am I? Parents, teachers, friends, coaches, grandparents and everyone they come in contact with all have different expectations of them. No wonder children are confused as to who they should be at different times with different people. They switch masks from the good boy or girl for the teacher, sometimes the scared or hurt child on the playground when other kids pick on them, the tough kid among their peers putting on a brave face, the joker making their friends laugh, or the perfect player for their coach doing their best for the team. Not to mention all the roles we as parents expect them to play at home; brother, sister, responsible, hardworking, studious, well behaved child. No wonder kids have a tough time figuring out who they really are.

Being with their peers can be the most challenging place for them to be themselves. Peers sometimes expect certain behaviours from them in order to fit in with the group. If those behaviours feel wrong or uncomfortable it takes a strong person to say “No, I don’t need to behave like you to be accepted”. I have always taught my kids to be their own best friend. If a friend of theirs is not treating them with respect then they are not a true friend.

Grades 3-4 can be challenging social years in school, especially for girls. When my daughter Anya was in grade 4 a couple of the popular girls in her class started playing a mean game. It was the “Friend today, Ditch you tomorrow” game with some of the other girls in the class. The “popular” girls would talk about who they were going to be friends with and who they were going to ditch at recess, lunch or walking home that day. The game would rotate among the group of girls changing each day as to who could play and who couldn’t. For the girls who really wanted to fit in it was a very hurtful game.

One day when Anya went out to play at recess they would tell her, “we are ditching you today so you can’t play with us”. The next day they would play with her like nothing had happened. My daughter being the strong-willed child she is did not tolerate the treatment for long. As she was walking home from school one day with her best friend of many years her friend told her, “I am sorry Anya I am ditching you as a friend to be with the more popular girls”. Anya was so hurt and fed up with the whole game she said to her friend, “You know what, fine, I’m not going to hang out with you anymore!” then she walked away. We talked about it when she got home and I was so proud of her for standing her ground. She had another friend she could hang out with and they respected each other. She would not tolerate any more cruel games. A couple of weeks later her x-best friend came back to her and wanted to be her friend again because the popular girls had ditched her. Anya stood her ground and told the girl she had hurt her too many times and Anya was not willing to let it happen again. After that Anya was always polite to her but would no longer consider her a good friend.

Anya and her friend who was also tired of the ditching game started their own group where everyone was accepted for who they were as long as they were respectful with the others. If girls joined them for lunch or recess and we’re disrespectful Anya and her friend would walk away. They were still nice to everyone they just didn’t tolerate disrespectful behavior. By her grade 6 year Anya and her friend’s group had grown into a cluster of 6 to 8 girls who would hang out every lunch and recess and were always respectful to each other. They would play card games or on the playground including anyone who wanted to join and have fun. They didn’t care what anybody else thought of them they were just happy to be themselves.

Teach your child it is always better to play alone than to hang around other children who do not respect them or expect them to do things they feel uncomfortable doing. There are lots of nice kids out there just like them who would love someone to play with. If our children expect respect from their friends they will get it. They will also have the courage to stand up to a friend and say “No” when they don’t feel comfortable doing something their friend wants them to do.   ©

 

Start each day with a positive note!

A Positive Message is a Great way to Start the Day!

A Positive Message is a Great way to Start the Day!

Wouldn’t it be nice to start each day with a loving note from someone? Writing fun, positive notes to your child can help them start their day in a positive way. It could be a simple “I love you”, a fun “Happy ‘Whatever’ Day!” or any words of wisdom you felt your child needed to hear.

When my children were little I bought them each a white erase board for their room. At night when they were asleep I would slip quietly into their room and write a message on their board. They loved receiving a note from their mom each day.  It would usually be a positive message to help start their day off right or a behavior reminder note like “Peace starts with me not my Sister” for them to think about throughout the day. If they were struggling with an issue at school or having trouble with a friend I would write them some tips that might help.  Sometimes I would write a list of things they needed to do that day on the side of the board as a gentle reminder of what was coming up. When they were learning to read it was extra reading practice for them too. I would ask them questions so they could write a reply to me and vice versa. Lots of times they would surprise me by leaving a message for me after I had tucked them in. It became a fun tool for communication and helped start each day off with a good feeling inside. 🙂

February – The Month of Love!

Fill Your Heart With Love!

February may be the month dedicated to love but, why can’t every day be full of love? People spend their lives looking for love. Could it be love is within us and when we find the love inside we will feel the love all around us.  Take a small child for instance; children are full of unconditional love. They live in the moment and love every second of it. They are new to this world and have so much to explore they can’t wait to start each day and see what it will bring.

When my son was two years old he used to wake up every morning as I came into his room and say enthusiastically, “Mommy, It’s a Beautiful Day!” The first few times I would open his blinds, take a look outside, see the sun shining brightly and agree with him. Then one day it was dark and stormy outside when he woke up and still he said with a beaming smile, “Mommy It’s a Beautiful Day!”  I looked outside at the gloomy day and started to say “Actually it looks kind of gloomy out today.”  Then I stopped myself, it finally dawned on me, he wasn’t talking about the weather at all. He could care less if it was sunny, or windy and storming out he was just so happy to be alive and awake and to have his mommy whom he loved so much come into his room, greet him and take care of him that every day was perfect and Beautiful. He was so full of love for his world, all the exciting and new things he would do that day, all the people he loved and loved him he couldn’t wait to get started! I could feel his love for his world radiating out from him and my heart melted. I turned and gave him a warm hug and said, “Yes James, It is a Beautiful Day!”

Let us all work on living in the moment this month, look out each day and see the beauty in it, feel the love within ourselves and in our life. Do something nice for our selves and find the joy in our relationships with our loved ones. Let us make every day a Beautiful Day!

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Disclaimer

The information on this site is based on the personal experience of the author. There are no guarantees of a perfect method to raise a child, it is all trial and error. Please feel free to try some of the suggestions on this site and let me know how you make out. If you would like to use any words or pictures from this blog please contact me for written permission. © 2013

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